The English term germ emerged from the French germe in the 1640s, which evolved from germen in Latin, meaning a biological genesis, as with seeds and buds. A germ as a “seed of a disease” was planted in English in 1796; that of harmful microbe in 1871. A century and a half later, germs are found winning against those who would label them as such.
Men did their best to engineer virulence in germs by casually dispensing antibiotics, thereby provoking a stronger will to live in the tiny bacterial and fungal pathogens which make a living through death. For decades scientists warned of the danger in needless antibiotic dosing, to no avail. (Note the parallel of indiscriminate industrialized medicine fomenting disease and indiscriminate industrialized technology engendering self-extinction through pollution.)
Every 11 seconds an American gets an infection which cannot be treated. Every 15 minutes an American dies from a super-germ which ate them alive. Drug-resistant germs sicken 3 million Americans annually, killing 35,000; a toll that is surging.
“The bottom line is that antibiotic resistance is worse than we previously thought,” laments American epidemiologist Michael Craig.
Caution about antibiotic overuse is still in the wind. 1/3rd of the antibiotics doled out are not needed.
We reap what we sow. Fail to respect Nature and Nature will have its revenge.
Lena H. Sun, “Deadly superbugs pose greater threat than previously estimated,” The Washington Post (14 November 2019).
“Antibiotic resistance threats in the United States,” CDC (November 2019).